Letters to the Editor
Q. I am an engineer and also a fearful Muslim.
Such self-evaluation is disapproved in Islam. At best you can say, “I try to be…” even though there can be a trace of lie in saying that also.
Q. My parents are staying with me and I feel that this is God’s gift to me. My wife is also a good house wife and so caring to my parents.
She should not be judged by her services to your parents alone.
Q. I love my parents and I can’t stay a moment away from them. But my sisters’ relation with me is sometimes good, but sometimes they argue with me in a very bad way and even use filthy language.
Women are known to have sharp tongues, but are quick at forgetting and forgiving. A joke cut at the lash of the tongue can release a peel of laughter, and the matter is forgotten and forgiven. He who evaluates their talk mathematically, has learnt little about who talks emotionally and who reacts rationally. Modern education is ignorance piled upon ignorance.
At all events, a series of heated exchanges between you and them can be imagined as having taken place, where either you or both could be exhibiting insensitivity to some issues. Foul language only occurs after such insensitivity, or alternatively, continued bragging over what was not accomplished, or refusal to accept dereliction of duties in the past, or unreasonable demands made on each other.
Q. Even though I have been very helpful to them, they won’t realize it.
The reason not to realize could be because of over-assumption of the so-called “helpfulness in the past.” Bitterness on their part must have a reason. Surely you would know it, but, perhaps, have not thought it prudent to state it to us.
Q. My parents also shown anger to them for their behaviour towards me and have advised them not to repeat, but they have not at all changed and have continued the same kind of attitude towards me.
You need to take yourself out of the contention, as one who is being misjudged, and mistreated. You must stand out, look at the affair objectively, and discover what the real issue is. In most quarrels, the issue is never directly spoken of. But rather, side issues are picked up to argue over. You must honestly look beyond the façade and then discuss with knowledgeable people about the legitimacy of your and their positions. Are their demands legitimate? Has your response been justifiable? These clarifications must be sought; and correction should follow: not from their side, but from yours. Love conquers.
Q. My home atmosphere is affected badly. So I have told them to please remain away from my life.
That was an error of huge order; and indicates intransigence from your side. People who are closest to you, (parents, brothers and sisters), because they speak to you from within four walls, train you in husbanding your ego. To order those who know every sinew of your character, behaviour, and the carefully enclosed personality, and so, speak out in your face, is to remove all the mirrors in your house. You need to say sorry to them and beg them to visit you and your parents as often as they can. The Prophet (saws) said, “Sill munQata`ak” meaning, “Join those who cut you off.” But you have cut off those you are bound by blood.
Q. So now I am happy.
Happiness, instead of moment of regret and sorrow, meets with the hadith which says that a time will come when good will become evil and the evil will become good: the distinction would be lost.
Q. But my parents are little bit disappointed because their daughters are not coming home to meet them.
You have cut away a piece of heart of those you were not allowed to say, ‘Oof.’
Q. Now I feel that because of me my parents are suffering. So please suggest me what should I do to make my parents happy.
Regret is half repentance. The other half is to invite your sisters back, not with a stoic stern face, but with a sheepish heart and a loving heart.
Q. And I also be safe from such bad manners from my sisters.
Your safety measure, against what could be the imaginary ill-manners of your sisters, is as worded by the Qur’an: “Not equal are the good and the evil. Repel (therefore) with that which is better, and thereupon, he between whom and you is enmity, is, as if a warm friend.” (41: 43)
However, before you go to your sisters, you must train your inner self so that, when you face them you can say, in truthfulness of the tongue and earnestness of the heart, “Do you think I love you less now than I loved you when we were children?”
Q. In sha Allah my marriage (Nikah) is fixed. But I have a lot of doubts on the correct method of Nikah (according to Shariah).
– Is Shukrana allowed in Shariah?
– Is Valima Wajib?
– Can you explain Valima?
– Is it right that the bride and bridegroom should be together in Valima?
– Is the Julwa (Rukhsati) allowed?
Basically you may explain the actual procedure or sequence of Nikah. I am totally confused, in India, different regions follow different traditions (functions).
As said by you, different practises are followed in different parts of India. They have little religious support for those practices and most are either sin, or self-harming. But hope not for any reconsideration by a people who keep their God in the mosque, the clergy in between, and themselves grittily holding on to neo-Jahiliyy practices. Answering your queries, turn by turn, we would like to say:
Shukrana: What could be rendered as “Thanks giving,” appears to be an imitation of the Christian festival observed in USA and Canada.
An Islamic Shukrana, if there could be any, should consist of fasting of a day or more and distribution of monetary charity among the poor, both at the individual level (the would be bride and groom), as well as the social level (by the two families).
What about a dinner party? Why not, if the marriage parties do not eat out of the dinner, but rather feed the poor, in a grand way, in as grand a way, as they feed themselves.Let the skinny abandoned women, and their more skinny children, have a good meal once in a way under the loving eyes of the organizers. That would be a Shukrana that could be acceptable to Allah, the Lord of the rich and the deprived.
Walimah: Had it been Wajib, we would have abandoned Islam long back. It is the literalists, who pick up Ahadith of choice for practice, ignoring the Qur’an and related Ahadith who would declare it Wajib.
One hadith of their choice is: “Arrange a Walimah, even if it is with a goat,” ignoring the fact that the advice was to `Abd al Rahman b. `Awf (a ‘one-in-thousand’ rich trader) and not to the thousands of the likes of Bilal, Ibn Mas`ud and others.
They also ignore, and among them are in the first row those whose ‘religion’ is unsubstantiated ‘love of the Prophet,’ as well as those who chant out ‘Qur’an and Sunnah’ every time they speak up for Islam … they both ignore the Sunnah of the Prophet that he conducted Walimah in celebration of his marriages to his wives, with, in one case, (a dish cooked out of) two handfuls of barely. They also do not wish to learn the Sunnah of their Prophet that he threw a dinner party (Walimah) for Safiyyah presenting no more than some dates and roasted flour.
They’d love to quote a hadith as an excuse that the Prophet had slaughtered a goat at his marriage to Zaynab bint Jash, ignoring that it was a marriage licensed by Allah Most High, and His All-Greatness required that scale of Walimah from an otherwise poorly Prophet, who never at all offered a Walimah, for the rest of his wives, but a meal for a few, of the simplest type ever. One of his Walimah was what his Companions gifted him of dates, butter, etc. They brought the things, sat down together, ate up, and went home filled with Islamic spirit.
Walimah of today is a massive failure of good sense and a mockery of the ways of the Prophet. To get bus-loads of friends and relatives, at the transport cost of more than the Walimah food-cost, during these days of economic crisis after crisis, is a sign of some sort of mental disturbance. Talk not of the Sunnah. It is sin upon sin.
To say that Walimah is now an occasion for the relatives to meet, is a sign of reason’s failure. To throw a few seeds to get the chicken together is chicken-headedness.
As for getting together, yes, the next Sunday, majority of them will meet up again in another marriage hall.
Jalwah (face unveiling ceremony): There isn’t any harm in it so long as it is in the presence of the mahram alone. But, Shari`ah disregarded, such conditions are regarded as coming from the mentally unbalanced.
All the same, the ceremony has now become a farce and a comedy. To start with, everyone in the neighbourhood has seen the girl scamper, shuttle and dot across the streets for two decades. Let alone the face, they know her entire geographical feature. What are you showing then?
It is a farce because the real face is so thoroughly hidden behind the make-up for which thousands were spent, that the bride looks like a mannequin.
But it is not the Jalwah alone, it is the entire marriage ceremony which has now become a farce, and a comedy which, in one-third of the cases, ends in a tragedy.
Q. Is it allowed in Islam for a Muslim lady-doctor general practitioner to see male patients in a chamber alone?
Dr. Aijaz Ahmad,
We believe this is a fanciful situation, which, obviously, is not allowed, neither in Islam nor in non-Muslim societies. A nurse always accompanies a doctor. In fact, there is such a rush of staff and patients through the rooms and corridors that it is impossible for a doctor today to breathe freely for a few moments in an environment away from the din.
At all events, Muslim lady-doctors in hijab and niqab are never an isolated sight these days. In some parts of the world, some–who do not don hijab and niqab–are likely to become pariah. Let the lady-doctors then, fall in line.
Q. I have downloaded your app Islamqna and found it very helpful and interesting. It has cleared my basic doubts what my non-Muslim friends would frequently ask. I wanted to personally thank you for taking a step to spread Islam.
We are not too sure what site you are speaking of. At all events if you feel you have been educated, then, praise to Allah. He guides.
Q.As all my doubts did not clear up… I wish to ask you the following: Does love exist, or is it mere attraction? If it does exist is there any chance of love before marriage?
There is slim chance in our times of love before or after marriage.
What is thought of as love by the youth is sexual attraction.
Love grows out of several reasons. One of them is likeness at the spiritual level. The Prophet (asws) said: Spirits were created in clusters. Those who knew each other intimately there, would be so here; while those who remained strangers to each other there, would be so here. If such a love exists, you could call it platonic.
Another grows out of like-mindedness.
Yet another kind of love arises out of similar attributes and qualities. E.g., someone honest, sincere, frank, clean of heart is likely to approve of another, similarly honest, sincere, frank, and clean of heart; never falling in love with another dishonest, insincere, secretive and unclean of heart.
There are other kinds and natures of love.
As for the youth of opposite sex falling in love with each other, it can be nothing but sexual attraction under the assumption that they love each other for qualities, although both are still unknowing of each other’s qualities. If they hurry into marriage, they will fall apart spiritually, mentally, and if unable to make compromise, physically too. An evil start faces the prospect of an evil end.
Q. Many people told me falling in love before marriage is not allowed. Is that correct?
Perhaps what you mean is close association with one of the opposite sex, who has been unknown until the two met. Of course, it is not allowed. And, to know why, the answer is, this is not the way to fall in love. This is the way to fall in a trap.
Q. And if it is not allowed, how to trust a completely unknown person and marry him?
How often not marriage to a completely known person ends on a bitter note?
Q. And as of today, trusting any man is very hard.
Throughout human history, people have been choosing evil, but hiding their choices. No one can discover them as they know the windows which will reveal what they conceal, and so lay layers upon layers of beautifully designed drapes over them. But when the wind blows hard, the drapes swing this way and that, they reveal one aspect or another of their true personalities. Living together with someone is very likely to witness hard blowing of the winds, or even storms, to reveal the hidden.
So, it is not ‘as of today’ but has always been the case.
The safest way then is to leave the choice to parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and others, to choose a mate for a girl. But, what about if they are blind too, and judge not by what Prophet urged to judge by? The case is lost: Heads you lose, and tails you lose.
Where do you go next? Well, leave it to Allah, while you walk upon the Path. He never fails those who are faithful to Him and have trust in Him.
Q. Is talking to opposite sex a sin? If not, then can we make friendship with them provided we don’t cross our limits?
Talking to opposite sex is a sin against oneself. Today’s man is several times more deceptive than he of the few generations earlier was. So, the question of setting limits does not arise. A sin leads to another, greater sin.
Q. As I am a teen, I get attracted to men. I do not talk to them or anything, but I secretly admire them. How to avoid such things?
Procreation is the main theme. Attraction is natural. Sex dominates the mind of the teen. Out of teenage, and crossing a few years, the desire to bear a child will dominate on the part of the female. If married, then, by about 35-40 onwards, the desire to properly bring up children will be the main concern. This is the design of our Lord. We do the right things during every stage, and meet Him on honest grounds when dead.